Pioneer HTP-071 Home Theatre System – bring the silver screen home!
Most big TV owners have been through this; you buy a new TV and you feel a slight let down when watching a movie on your wide-screen plasma, LCD, or LED TV. You feel that your movies or reality shows are missing a certain punch or pizzazz that has nothing to do with the banality of television…and you're right! The thing that your home entertainment system is missing – and what we'll help you find – is a home theatre. Nothing beats rush hour or office stress quite like being able to come home, secure in the knowledge that very soon you'll be enveloped in the soulful, heart-wrenching strains of Sinatra or sitting at the edge of your seat watching a run-and-gun Van Damme flick. So, if you're in the market for a home theatre, you're in luck: look no further, the Pioneer HTP-071 is here.
In the looks department, the Pioneer HTP-071 scores full points – its nondescript components will blend into any home setting and the "Pioneer" logo emblazoned on the front paneling speaks volumes of its lineage. This model consists of a well-built 6 channel audio video receiver, and a complete 5.1 surround sound system that, believe us, needs to be heard to be believed. But more on that later!
This seven piece home theatre system comes with four S-11-P satellite speakers (with a central channel speaker), an S-22W-P subwoofer, and the vaunted VSX-321-K-P receiver. The satellite speakers' look small, curvy, and glamorous, but don't let their looks deceive you; they're heavy and pack quite a punch. Speaking of punches, if you decide to watch a kung-fu movie, bear in mind that every punch, kick and flail will be accompanied with deep bass grunts from the muscular subwoofer – it is NOT for the faint-hearted.
Build quality is well above average with the metal connectors snapping shut on bare metal wire or banana plugs with a satisfying click.
Without any further ado, we'll show you how well the HTP-071's sound system did when we put it through its paces.
Fig 1: Pioneer HTP-071
Music to the ears
Most audiophiles (and video-philes) will agree that sometimes, even HTiB products from good manufacturers only sound (and look) "good enough". Audiophiles will go a step further and say that it's the sound system that makes or breaks a home theatre system. On that front, the HTP-071 scores a full hundred.
Size-wise, the front satellite speakers (106 × 116 × 106 mm each) weigh about 800 grams. The centre channel speaker (270 × 100 × 106 mm) is slightly heavier at 1 kg. The rear satellite speakers (106 × 116 × 106 mm each) weigh in at 600 grams. All speakers are heavy enough to dampen vibrations from audio frequencies that clip – thus preventing (or at least, reducing to a great extent) the possibility of "tearing" of an audio track. They are also small enough to be discreetly placed around your living room. The drivers of all five speakers are protected. The speakers can also be mounted quite easily. The centre channel speaker has a flattened base that keeps it quite steady on a flat surface – it will probably be positioned just below your television.
Fig 3: Pioneer HTP-071 - Front Satellite Speakers
Fig 2: Pioneer HTP-071- Subwoofer
The subwoofer is a beefy, muscular affair that weighs in at a good 5.3 Kg. Weight is important for a subwoofer – which is why many speakers are built from denser materials like wood – as it dampens the vibrations from the lower tonal frequencies. The subwoofer's 230 × 418 × 358 mm dimensions (which include the feet) ensure that it can be stowed away under the television only to make its presence felt when buildings topple, planes fall out of the sky, or Santana breaks out his bass guitar.
The HTP-071 doesn't skimp on features, either. It sports an entire slew of Dolby and Dolby DTS Surround Sound features – you've got everything from Dolby Pro Logic Surround (II and IIx) to DTS HD High Resolution Audio. This should not only satisfy the casual listener but also slavering audiophiles who are notoriously hard to please. High-definition audio is fast becoming a standard with the discerning home theatre owner – everybody wants to enjoy uncompressed, high-definition, digital audio – such as that from Blu-ray discs.
Sometimes, while listening or viewing media from several sources, you'll find that one source is louder than the other. The HTP-071 eliminates that possibility entirely with the Auto Level Control feature that automatically detects the difference between the volume levels of different sources and adjusts for it.
The audio performance of this system was exemplary – we used a Blu-ray player during our tests and found that the full-range sound of the HTP-071 did it justice. The HTP-071 is one of the best sounding home theatre systems that we have come across. All sounds – from the deep rumbling bass of the subwoofer to the rich-sounds of the satellites soaring over the top – were faithfully reproduced. This is why a home theatre sounds so good – the five speakers' energetic, highly effective, and tonally healthy sound is impossible to replicate with smaller speakers. Whether it was the explosions from the disabled aircraft in Avatar, or the lissome strains of R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion, the HTP-071 never faltered a step along the way.
The Final Word
The HTP-071 is a big-sounding home theatre system. Be it Sarah Mclachlan crooning out Arms of an Angel or Ozzy Osbourne screeching out Crazy Train, this 5.1 sound system rises to the occasion wonderfully. But don't take our word for it. Saunter down to your closest Reliance Digital store and hear it for yourself in our Experience Zone: we guarantee a memorable experience.
Fig 4: Reliance Digital Experience Zone
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Pioneer HTP-071 Home theatre system will be available in Reliance Digital Stores from April 2012 onwards
*P.S: Products and services are subject to stock availability. Please call our store representatives to confirm.